No, seriously. That’s what the name of the company is: Big Ass Fans. Their line of products, and the ideas behind them, help us reach our goals to keep the development on Isla Palenque eco-friendly while keeping guests cool. Passive cooling techniques will be employed to make outdoor living enjoyable in the tropical heat of Panama.
One of the keys to outdoor living in a hot, humid climate like Panama is good ventilation. And while there’s a lot you can do to capture natural breezes and allow them to effectively pass through buildings (which our architects are doing to every possible extent), at some times and in some locations, you simply have to have mechanical ventilation. And while standard ceiling and personal fans usually do the trick, sometimes (oftentimes in Panama) you need more.
That’s where Big Ass Fans (BAFs) come in. While their precise engineering means that they aren’t as stylish as some fans (though BAF has added the nicer-looking Element line recently), they move air like nobody’s business, and do it without making you feel like you’re being blasted by a strong wind. People often don’t believe me when I go on about the efficacy of these things, but it’s true.
When I can, I take such doubters to Las Terrazas at Multi-Plaza Mall in Panama City. This open-air, high-end “food court” contains 4 or 5 restaurants on a huge second-story patio overlooking the mall parking lot and nearby buildings. There are several big ass fans, about 15′ diameter each, hanging from the 25-foot high ceiling. Most people don’t even notice the fans since they’re so high up.
But you do notice while dining here that Panama City has suddenly gotten much breezier: perhaps a bar napkin starts to float away when you lift your drink and calls your attention to it. But no, there aren’t any miraculous cool breezes suddenly blowing through the city – I can point to the trees out in the parking lot, which are standing very still. It’s the Big Ass Fans. Those BAFs are dutifully doing their job in the background, making everyone feel comfortable outdoors despite the 90-degree heat. I’ve never had someone walk away unimpressed.